"A Notary Public is an official of integrity appointed by state government (Secretary of State) to serve the public as an impartial witness in performing a variety of official fraud-deterrent acts related to the signing of important documents." NNA
Florida Notaries are commissioned and authorized to perform six (6) basic duties
. Administer oaths or affirmations (Jurats)
. Take acknowledgments
. Attest to photocopies of certain documents
. Solemnize marriage
. Verify vehicle identification numbers (VINs)
. Certify the contents of safety-deposit box
What a Florida Notary cannot do along with a list of prohibited acts
. Provide legal advise or legal interpretation of documents (this is considered practice of law)
. Signature witnessing
. Notarization of a photograph
. Notarization of public record such as birth certificate or other vital record
. Certification of authenticity of objects (art, sports memorabilia)
. Certification of a person's residency or citizenship status
. Preparation of legal documents or immigration papers unless the notary is also a licensed Florida attorney.
Food for thoughts...
While the most known duty of a notary is the one where the signer(s) identity is verified, notaries must also verify the willingness of the signer(s) (making sure they are signing without duress or intimidation) and their awareness of the contents of the document or transaction (making sure they are competent).
Notaries must be impartial and must not act where there is personal interest.
Lastly, a United States Notary Public is NOT an attorney, judge or high-ranking official,
and is not a Notario Publico.